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Will Street Cost Cron? Will Paps Cost Green?

What is the price of an elite reliever?

Welcome to the Jung------uhhh......
Welcome to the Jung------uhhh......
Mike Zarrilli

Thursday afternoon's getaway game featured something that we might see a little more of if the Angels acquire a top-tier ninth-inning relief pitcher: No C.J. Cron, no Grant Green. If the Angels are to acquire Huston Street or Jonathan Papelbon, the price may be one of those players and some detritus from our barren farm system.

At the present, Green and Cron depth for the Angels. They are role players who are a bargain. Manager Mike Scioscia did everything he could to block them both by giving ABs to Raul Ibañez and David Freese. While Freese will be around a lot longer, the jettisoning of Father Time opened the door to a few more PA by Cron and Green, but both are essentially blocked.

At 1B, Cron is expendable even with an aging, aching Albert Pujols better off for the Halos as a DH. But consider Kole Calhoun to be Cron's defensive equal at 1B (with Albert DHing, Kole and Collin Cowgill could both be in the lineup) and the immediate needs of a reliable closer outweigh in the near-term what looks to be a good power-hitting career for Cron.

At 3B, Green is blocked outright by the fading, listless David Freese. Loved by Scioscia as a "proven veteran" and by General Manager Jerry Dipoto enough to trade Peter Bourjos and Randall Grichuk for, Freese is the golden child, can do no wrong (even when he cannot bat his weight) and, well we're basically stuck with him which makes Green expendable.

We lose a little depth. We lose a cost-controlled young player who can hold his own at the major league level. But we get one thing this team desperately needs: A player with a defined role (closer) who can actually fill that role. Our manager cannot think outside of the box and so we Dipoto will will have to sacrifice a budding career to protect us from Scioscia's rigidity.

Of course, Cron or Green alone will not yield a top tier veteran closer. Would they together yield such? The trade deadline is in 35 days. In the words of Jack Nicholson as The Joker, "Think about the future..."